Money Drunk, Money Sober: 5 Stories of Financial Implosion

This is actually one of the assignments at the end of the abstinence chapter. It advises to collect stories of financial failure. First, it’s a reminder that in context my problems aren’t the worst in the world (I pity the person working the path who actually is, as there’s bound to be at least two.)  There’s also the added perspective: it’s not more money more problems, it’s more money – SAME problems. If you’ve got a dysfunction with how you handle money, having more of it will just mean more room for dysfunction. Like my friend that got a job that paid triple my salary who went and bought Playstation 3 instead of paying off his power bill and back rent. Not everyone is that bad and I suspect there was some neurological stuff in that situation. Even so, it helps to have some perspective since “live for today” is great on being present moment, but handling money is predicated on the concept that you will wake up tomorrow, or if not you, someone who cares about you will. After my dad’s death, I can only say that being as unambiguous as possible in what you leave behind is very necessary.


Story 1:

Mary Richardson Kennedy’s suicide, from Perez Hilton.

“Mary said she was facing financial ruin, with American Express coming after her hard for an outstanding debt, along with several other creditors.”

The post also suggests that she suffered from depression and alcoholism, which could well have made her perception of her financial situation worse. The women that leave the Kennedys don’t fare well. I advise never, under any circumstances, having sex with  a member of the Kennedy family. Or a member of the Bush family. Just knowing these people seems to end poorly for the women they infest.

Story 2:

The producer of the sleeper horror hit Blair Witch Project has had to file for bankruptcy. Millions were made on that movie and it had a huge profit margin. Now, there’s nothing left. This is the direct result of bad financial habits, and there’s probably a bit of Money Drunk issues going on there, too. Learning how to handle huge sums of money is genuinely a job that takes some training. For every 10K a person makes, there’s new stuff s/he has to learn to properly direct how money gets used.

Story 3:

From the Dlisted blog, Kelis, the ex-wife of some famous guy in circles not in my attention sphere, is broke and wants a better divorce settlement.

Child and spousal support are always a big messy deal for divorced women. This is not always from financial mismanagement. There’s also still a culture of dependence women are programmed to, and despite conscientious management while single, many women just toss their good habits in exchange for one day in an overpriced white veil. Both partners need to know what’s going on. Both partners need shared reserves – and private reserves. I remember a few deeply disturbing conversations I had with men and women about “throwing everything in the pot” and their shock when I told them I most certainly do NOT throw EVERYTHING in.

Story 4:

A ponzi schemere got ripped off by a ponzi schemer. Of course this is about more than addiction to bad financial habits, but the whole circular meta of it all comes down to someone thinking a shortcut through deceit might not lead to horrific consequences.

Story 5:

Mary J Blige’s charity was overtaken by the financially uninformed. This comes down to good intentions – and a fear of learning about money. The rule of “pay your bills” can sometimes get lost when the brain shuts down at the sight of paperwork. The better you understand money, the less your brain will shut down over the paperwork.